Free Time

One of the most costly mistakes that can shipper can make during the freight transportation process regards free time. Do not let the name confuse you because if you violate the free time rules, it certainly won’t be free and you will be paying additional charges.

Free time simply refers to the time when you are not being charged for having your freight wait for you in the terminal or warehouse. For exporters, free time occurs after your freight arrives at the terminal before departure. For importers, free time occurs immediately after your container arrives at the warehouse and before you pick up your container from there. You are usually never charged any fees if your container is waiting during the free time period. Unique free times exist for different warehouses and carriers. For example, a particular logistics provider might list a free time of 7 days. The free time is listed in your freight contract, and they might be different for LCL or FCL shipments.

If you exceed your free time in anyway, you will be paying additional charges. For exporters, you cannot drop off your containers before the free time begins. For importers, you must pick up your containers before free time is over. This may seem like a burden when shipping international containers, but the fees are actually very easy to avoid if you plan ahead and ensure that your containers are out of the terminal or warehouse when free time is up. If you follow the free time rules, then everything will be fine.